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Unread 06-21-2018, 03:10 PM
Heterodox Heterodox is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Default Calorie cycling while bulking?

Hi has anybody used calorie cycling while bulking?

My appetite always seems to increase the most during first 24 hours post work out, The following day my appetite is always less, eating the same calories every day means on work out day's i always feel hungry and non workout day's i feel like i could easily eat less.

As i train every other day full body, i was wondering if there are any downsides to eating in a large surplus on work out days post work out (+1000kcal) and the following day eating in a 500kcal deficit i will still be in a 250kcal average surplus per day over 7 day's. I am not proposing this idea for any re comp benefits to lose fat and build muscle at the same time or anything like that but simply intuitively i feel like this would be the most convenient and enjoyable way for me to eat, i am just wondering if this will have negative effect on my ability to make gains.
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Unread 06-25-2018, 02:02 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 502

yeah there is nothing wrong that, personally I prefer using some cycling myself as I am ravenously hungry the next 24 hours or so after lifting.

Just don't get overly extreme, 1000 calories might be pushing it depending on how big you are. For someone using this approach typically the recommendations are to eat about 20% calories above maintenance on lifting days and at maintenance on rest days.

A pretty good rule of thumb for myself is about 1/3 calories pre workout and 2/3 calories post workout unless my training is really early or late in the day and that just won't be feasible. Then the following morning after working out I'll reverse course and eat about 2/3 of my calories early in the day (as I'm still in the post 24 hours workout stage) and 1/3 later in the day (as that's when my 24 hours "off" truly begins)

In general if I'm bulking and I'm hungry I assume that is my body saying I'm not getting enough food. Because typically on a bulk I feel a little bit stuffed if I'm eating correctly.

Most importantly, if you're taking this type of approach the quality of your calories and your glycogen levels is going to matter a little more.

If your glycogen levels are semi depleted you can 'overeat' and not worry about fat storage as much IF you are eating complex carbohydrates as they will replenish the glycogen levels.

On the other hand if you're eating a bunch of sugars and fat they're going to store as body fat.

So when I take an approach like this I make sure the 24 hours post workout is complex carb heavy. And the following day is very carb light comparatively. Between the light carbohydrate day and the following workout I'm ensuring my glycogen levels will be depleted enough that fat storage won't be much of an issue on my next overeating day. Additionally, this approach helps keep me very compliant with my eating choices as I'm kinda alternating between good days and "cheat" days. I'm only a day away from being able to eat a loaf of bread, cereal, pasta, etc so it's simply not that difficult to avoid them on my resting day.

Additionally, I'll add a nice little fasted 30 minute LOW tempo walk around the neighborhood or on a recumbent bike on my rest day. This aids in recovery by getting some blood flow to the muscles and helps offset any fat gain that might be occuring on the days I'm overeating.
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Last edited by BEATMEOUTTAME : 06-25-2018 at 02:10 PM. Reason: add
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Unread 06-26-2018, 08:56 AM
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muki muki is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 208

more or less I cycle a bit calories to fit my training /lifestyle regime all the time. But i think unless you take it to extreme ( fasting approach) I don't think it matters SO MUCH compared to having a flat calorie distribution over rest/training days. It more about personal preference and practicability for your lifestyle

Also I believe a lot of people overestimate their glycogen needs and start binging carbs which results in excess body fat accumulation. I mean, even a full body training of some 50/60 working reps per muscle group can deplete your glycogen only so much...certainly not to a level to go all wild with pizzas, pastas and other carb sources for the next 24 hrs or more between the 2 workouts.

From my experience calorie cycling has some benefit in reducing the accumulated fat during bulking phase, but it comes with an offset of potentially disturbing your training/eating continuity and resulting with suboptimal growth.
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